Sri Lanka’s tour of India has reached its final stage as the visiting team will head back home after the 3-match T20 series against India.
Having played India almost every month in 2017, the Sri Lankan cricketers are now having a difficult time in digesting the fact that the Indian team will be heading to South Africa in January next year, writing off the possibility of another India-SL series for a couple of months.
In order to continue playing against India, SL skipper Thisara Perera has decided to lead his team to South Africa, where Sri Lanka will play an ODI series with India between every two matches of India and South Africa. The SL skipper also announced that having the SL players in South Africa will help India get enough match practice for the big series. “They are not playing any practice match in South Africa. So, we have decided to help their confidence,” said Perera.
All-rounder Angelo Mathews, who spoke in support of the skipper, explained, “We are used to losing to India. If we play any other team and lose, we won’t be able to accept the defeat. We’re okay with losing against India. In fact, we already accept defeat because Virat will be playing the series as well.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a statement thanking Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for the availability of its players in South Africa. “Everyone knows how important revenues are, for the BCCI. Organizing ODI series between every two matches of India-SA is a big task and will definitely generate revenue,” said a spokesperson of the BCCI.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, thanking the Sri Lankan players for their generosity, said, “The South African tour will test my batting. In case I fail to score big against the Proteas, I can compensate by scoring centuries against Sri Lanka and have a successful tour of South Africa.”